Sony Xperia 1 IV review: unapologetically Sony

5/13/2022 7:31:00 PM

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is the logical evolution after the Xperia 1 III was mixed with the super-premium Xperia PRO-I. Now, we have a very expensive Sony phone that packs a ton of Sony-specific bells and whistles. Is it worth the asking price?

ICYMI: The Sony Xperia 1 IV is the logical evolution after the Xperia 1 III was mixed with the super-premium Xperia PRO-I. Now, we have a very expensive Sony phone that packs a ton of Sony-specific bells and whistles. Is it worth the asking price?

The Sony Xperia 1 IV is the logical evolution after the Xperia 1 III was mixed with the super-premium Xperia PRO-I. Now, we have a very expensive Sony phone that packs a ton of Sony-specific bells and whistles. Is it worth the asking price?

Camera & Audio Actual variable zoom, wow The Xperia 1 IV has a triple camera on the back — an ultra-wide (16 mm equivalent, or 0.After much speculation and a number of pretty massive leaks, Sony's new over-ear headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM5, have finally been officially unveiled.iOS As for how the 1000XM5s sound, there are bigger changes than I was expecting.recent leaks , but today, Sony announced its latest flagship noise-canceling headphones, the WH-1000XM5.

67x), wide (24 mm equivalent), and telephoto camera that has actual variable zoom.Yes, unlike last year, where we had two set telephoto lenses and were switching between them (with digital zoom in between), the Xparia 1 IV actually has super-cool tech inside that allows its telephoto camera to physically zoom in, between 85 mm and 125 mm equivalent focal lengths (3.Most notably… "The best noise canceling just got better" Indeed, Sony's XM5s are claimed to bring an even better noise canceling experience, thanks to them having dual processors controlling eight microphones.5x and 5.The 1000XM5s are tighter, more detailed, and clean up the sometimes muddy bass of the 1000XM4s.2x).Also worth noting is something Sony calls an automatic noise canceling (NC) optimizer, which tunes the NC based on the user's environment.The lenses have been calibrated by Zeiss and have the Zeiss T* coating for reduced reflections and better contrast.That includes things like everyday city street noise and human voices.

All rear cameras have a 12 MP Sony-made Exmor RS for Mobile sensor capable of recording 4K video at up to 120 FPS… in HDR! That is all super-impressive on paper, so let’s look at some samples before we talk more about the cameras.With the help of the Integrated Processor V1, the WH-1000XM5 unlockthe full potential of Sony’s HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1, while thespecially designed 30mm driver unit enhances noise canceling.They’re less in your face and less potent out of the box overall.Alright, first the good — awesome colors, amazing detail.Where other phones like to oversharpen details to the point of making them jagged, fine objects on the Xperia photos look pretty honest and clean.Other Sony WH-1000XM5 features High-Resolution Audio support for both wired and wireless playback DSEE Extreme, a feature that upscales lower-quality digital music Voice Pickup technology and AI-based noise reduction for better voice isolation during calls Google Assistant and Alexa compatible, including voice wakes Fast Pair for quick pairing with Android, Swift Pair for easy Windows 10 and 11 pairing Up to 30 hours of battery life Let's get into detail about that battery life.The colors in photos also come out accurate, just the right amount of vibrant, and beautiful.But in some instances, particularly when listening to thumpy hip-hop or EDM tracks, I leaned towards the M4s.Exposure and dynamic range, there’s a different deal.In our Sony WH-1000XM4 review , which are these headphones' predecessors, also rated for 30 hours of playback on a single charge, we were able to confirm that they do last a long time.The WH-1000XM5s have an all-new design.

The photos can easily come out underexposed, with crushed shadows.If you are out on a sunny day, HDR does a great job at keeping the highlights at bay, which is great.Sony WH-1000XM5 official price, release date, colors We now have the official release date for the Sony WH-1000XM5, and that would be May 20, 2022.And maybe that’s partly why Sony is keeping them around; selling two headphones that are otherwise so similar wouldn’t make much sense.When the light is less than favorable, we get different results.Highlights are easily clipped, and photos may come out blurry as the shutter is super slow.99 (or €420 if you're in Europe).With some setup and some patience, you can come up with OK photos, but the premium competitors have Night Mode processing, which comes up with much clearer scenes.Sony stuck with the same QN1 noise cancellation processor for the new headphones, but now it’s also added in a second processor to dial up ANC even further.Image: Sony Sony is also highlighting improved voice call quality made possible by four beamforming mics and AI noise reduction algorithms.

Sony doesn't have a Portrait Mode per se, it has a Bokeh toggle in the Photography Pro app, which adds faux blur in the background.Stay tuned for our WH-1000XM5 review in the coming weeks, and let us know in the comments what you think about these! New reasons to get excited every week Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox Subscribe.It's..It’s still not enough to completely silence the world if you’re in a busy coffee shop, but it’s an improvement over what was already fantastic noise cancellation..not great at separating the subject, it makes the picture files abnormally large for some reason, and dynamic range suffers in this mode.Related:.

In fact, I found that just using the zoom camera and forgetting about the Bokeh effect will give you better, more natural results.I miss the button a little; it was a fun trick that only took a few seconds, but I can see why Sony ditched it for simplicity’s sake.Even if the blur isn't super-creamy.As you can see in the samples above, at 3.5x zoom, the photos look pretty fine — a nice optical zoom with clean details and pretty colors.The 1000XM5s have eight microphones in total, and four of those are used for voice.But, when going up to 5.

2x, it's very easy to get a photo that is a bit too blurry or washed-out.At the moment, it struggles a bit with finding the right focus as you zoom in, so I had to take multiple upon multiple shots to get some workable material.Things get a bit dodgier if you’re in a loud environment, but all headphones struggle in that scenario.It’s pretty amazing that we can get an actual optical zoom through moving mechanical parts, but it seems to me that the technology still needs some fleshing out.Before proceeding, I feel like I need to throw in a few words about the Camera app’s multiple photo modes.See, there’s Basic, which works just like any other smartphone camera app.But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

Then, you can switch to Auto, Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure.The latter modes completely transform the Camera app to resemble an actual physical camera’s controls.But I find it to be lacking.Together, you get three optional agreements.There’s no focus peaking, no zebras, nothing to make you feel like you have been given the tools to actually set up a shot manually.Also, there's absolutely no feedback from the phone when a picture is taken, which will end up bothering you more than you would think.

In the end, the manual modes of the Camera app work like the Auto mode, just with a few extra steps, which I ultimately preferred not to take.This only applies to Android, mind you; iPhone owners are still limited to the lower-bitrate AAC codec.It’s kind of disappointing that Sony puts so much emphasis on its camera featureset, yet it looks like it’s all talk and no walk.At least on the photo side of things! Though, the real-time autofocus with eye tracking is pretty solid, as long as you are trying to catch a subject with eyes in the shot.The selfie camera has yet another 12 MP Exmor RS for Mobile sensor, though its lens is not as fancy.The 1000XM4s had the same restriction, which makes me think it might come down to Bluetooth bandwidth.So, exposure and details are not as fine as with the main camera.

On to video recording — you have a huge choice of apps here.You can record clips through the default Camera app, the Video Pro app, and the Cinema Pro app.Some core basics about the 1000XM5s remain unchanged.What do you mean by “confusing”? It’s nothing like that at all! In all seriousness, though, Sony did go a bit overboard, but let me try and explain what each app is dedicated to.Cinema Pro is meant only for cinematic clips.This app will always shoot in HDR and always in a cinematic aspect ratio (wide).Same goes for features from the 1000XM4s, like “speak to chat,” where the headphones can detect when you’re talking and automatically halt music and enter transparency mode.

It gives you access to various filters that emulate actual film with its specific tints and color treatment.There are a few extra bells and whistles hidden in its sub-menus, like the ability to pre-set focus points so you can do an automatic, smooth focus racking effect while shooting a scene.But in general, it does what it says on the tin — it shoots cinematic videos.If you turn all the extra bells and whistles off, you can stretch well beyond that.Cinema Pro Video Pro’s interface leans more towards a camcorder.This app provides the right look for footage of interviews or vlogging.

There’s also a built-in option to go online and stream directly from here.They’re both top-tier, headline Sony products, but you’ve still got to plug into the PS5 controller with a cable.You can choose between SDR and HDR.Video Pro The Camera app (called Photo Pro) is your standard affair of just pulling the phone out of your pocket and starting to record video.This is the camera that will launch if you use the double power button shortcut or if you hold the hardware shutter button.I’m not under the impression that these are fitness headphones, but some progress and resistance to the elements would be great to see in the year 2022.Photo Pro With all of that out of the way, here are three clips, taken with the three different apps: The Cinema Pro app can make really pretty-looking cinematic shots.

It absolutely hates movement, even if there's a"stabilize" option inside the app.It doesn't do a great job.The WH-1000XM5s have a very comfortable new design that looks more modern but doesn’t quite rise up to their $400 price tag.This app is meant for a tripod, as handheld clips don't come out too well — you can see that near the end of this sample: The Video Pro app has a fantastic stabilizer, which is perfect for handheld clip recording.For vloggers, journalists, streamers, and other types of content creators that are often on foot and shooting real action as it happens — this app does a great job: The regular camera app, called Photo Pro, also takes videos.Absolutely not bad, it does many more things automatically, so it's the one-stop-shop for quickly recording a moment before it has passed: Stereo speakers - it’s a mini boombox I have to say, the stereo speakers of the Sony Xperia 1 IV sound pretty great.If you’ve got a pair of 1000XM4s and are happy with them, there’s zero reason to run out and upgrade.

Initially, they are a bit boxy, with a heavy hump somewhere between 400 Hz and 800 Hz.But when you enable Dolby audio from the settings, it all evens out for a balanced, meaty, detailed sound that is pleasing to listen to.Admittedly, it doesn’t get too loud, but it does reach a comfortable volume.You’re getting multipoint and the best ANC Sony has achieved yet.Additionally, the Xperia 1 IV features built-in support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio.This means, you can listen to 360 Reality tracks straight from the phone’s speaker.

But, what’s even better — the Xperia 1 IV can upscale any stereo audio to get the widened 360 Reality sound.It seems like Sony got confused with what it wanted the 1000XM5s to be: they’re a strange half-step between the 1000XM4s and luxury headphones like the AirPods Max.Yeah, it’s always best to listen to music that has been specifically mastered for the format.But since you can only access 360 Audio on Tidal Hi-Fi, Deezer, and a couple other smaller streaming services, the upscaler definitely comes in handy.And doesn’t sound bad at all! A year ago, I wrote about Apple’s Spatial Audio being the better feature because it has a “spatialize” option to treat any stereo signal source.Photography by Chris Welch / The Verge.Well, now Sony has caught up and the playing field is even again.

Pro microphone? It is worth noting that the Xperia 1 IV is supposed to be able to do some crazy good audio recordings.Apparently, there should be a Music Pro app, which will take sound clips, upload them to the cloud, process them to sound like they have been recorded with a pro-grade microphone, and feed them back to your device.One, I am highly skeptical of this.Two, I couldn't wait to test it, but there's no Music Pro app or feature anywhere on the provided Xperia for testing, so I would assume it should come with a later update.If it does so in timely manner, this space will be updated and we may even take the microphone for a more.

..extended test-drive! Software & Performance Can't spell clean without"lean" Sony is pretty well-known for keeping as close to the stock Android experience as possible.And the Xperia 1 IV makes no exception.It comes with Android 12 straight out of the box and it’s as close to a Google Pixel as you can imagine, with only a few Sony-specific apps thrown in.

Like the three aforementioned camera apps, but also the specific Sony Music app.Pretty interesting that Sony decided to do away with its own Gallery, in lieu of Google Photos, but keeps the Music app.Other than that, there are a few extra options in the Settings menu that are Sony-specific, mainly around the display and the 360 Reality Audio.And the rest is clean, lean, and easy to wrap your head around.The amount of apps that the phone has on a fresh install don't even fill up one screen of the app drawer.

Now, that's a breath of fresh air! The Edge Sense menu works much like Samsung’s Edge panel for apps — you can put your favorite apps here or favorite pairs for instant split-screen launching.I like Sony’s Edge Sense better for the way you activate it — you need to double-tap on the floating icon, whereas Samsung’s Edge panels get called out by a simple swipe, which I’ve often done by accident.Performance-wise, it should come as no surprise that the Xperia 1 IV is able to steamroll through anything the Play Store has to throw at it.The built-in Game Enhancer allows you to block the navigation gestures, block notifications, and clear memory, though I haven’t found the need to do the latter.The games run perfectly well on this beast, though, I did feel the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s heat coming through the thin phone chassis.


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